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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

me, had covered my advance by traversing the top
of the trench with his Lewis gun. I slung a few more
bombs, but they fell short of the clumsy field-grey
figures, some of whom half turned to fire their rifles
over the left shoulder as they ran across the open
toward the wood, while a crowd of jostling helmets
vanished along the trench. Idiotically elated, I stood
there with my finger in my right ear and emitted a
series of "view-holloas" (a gesture which ought to win
the approval of people who still regard war as a form
of outdoor sport). Having thus failed to commit
suicide, I proceeded to occupy the trench—that is to
say, I sat down on the fire-step, very much out of
breath, and hoped to God the Germans wouldn't
come back again.

The trench was deep and roomy, with a fine view of
our men in the Quadrangle, but I had no idea what
to do now I had got possession of it. The word "con-
solidation55 passed through my mind; but I couldn5t
consolidate by myself. Naturally, I didn't under-
estimate the magnitude of my achievement in captur-
ing the trench on which the Royal Irish had made a
frontal attack in the dark. Nevertheless, although still
unable to see that my success was only a lucky acci-
dent, I felt a bit queer in my solitude, so I reinforced
my courage by counting the sets of equipment which
had been left behind. There were between forty and
fifty packs, tidily arranged in a row—a fact which I
often mentioned (quite casually) when describing my
exploit afterwards. There was the doorway of a dug-
out, but I only peered in at it, feeling safer above
ground. Then, with apprehensive caution, I explored
about halfway to the Wood without finding any dead
bodies. Apparently no one was any the worse for my
little bombing demonstration. Perhaps I was dis-